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Nesting in Adobe Premiere Pro

Clay Asbury
By Clay Asbury

Nesting clips in Premiere Pro allows you to use an entire sequence as a clip.  When used correctly, nesting clips is a great way to save time and cut down on complexity in your video editing.

Adobe Premiere Pro

A common use of nesting in Premiere Pro is to combine a series of short sequences into one master sequence.  This is especially useful if you’re working with a long-format project (multiple acts for instance) or a project that naturally falls into different sections (perhaps a series of interviews).  By doing each section in it’s own nested sequence the project may become more manageable.

Nesting is also useful if you’ve created a series of videos that need to be combined for final delivery.  For instance, say you’re working on a project that consists of 3 unique videos.  The client may want you to deliver each stand-alone video, as well as one ‘master video’ that plays each back-to-back.  Nesting sequences in Premiere Pro into a master sequence would be very handy for this!

Assembling Sequences into a Master

In this example I have three sequences in Premiere Pro:  Ready for Work, Office and After Work.

I select the Ready for Work sequence and drop it onto the ‘new item’ icon. This creates a new sequence that matches my setting of the first sequence.  I rename this duplicate sequence “Master”.

New Item Icon

Opening up the Master sequence you’ll see the Ready for Work sequence is green (see below).  This is a visual sign to signify that it is currently nested.  Now, if you want to make changes to Ready for Work while it is nested in the Master sequence, you simply have to double click it.  It will then open it up in it’s original Premiere Pro sequence.


Nested Sequence


Nested Sequence

Now we’ll drag the the other 2 sequences into the Master sequence.  As these sequences are now nested they too will appear as ‘clips’ in the Master sequence:

Nested Sequences

Nesting Clips Already in a Sequence

With nesting, you’re not confined to only bringing sequences into sequences.  You can also nest a series of clips in a current sequence to break your edit up into smaller chunks and make it more manageable.

To nest clips in your Premiere Pro sequence, first highlight the clips.  Then, right-click them and choose “Nest”.  When you do this these clips are automatically converted into a new sequence.

Right Click and choose Nest

Rename the sequence in the project to something more descriptive than “Nested Sequence 01”.

Double click to step into the nest and work on those clips.

Clips Nested in a Sequence

Nesting is useful if you’re wanting to apply an effect to a group of clips.  You can drop an effect onto a nested sequence in a Premiere pro timeline.  To modify an effect put on a nested sequence, drag the sequence to the source window.  Then, in the source window adjust the effect settings in the “Effects Control” panel.

Nesting, when used correctly, can be a big timesaver in your post production work (keeping you more organized – and sane!)  Word to the wise however, when it’s done haphazardly it can quickly become a train wreck (misplacing clips in nested sequences, timing issues, etc).

As with any aspect of video editing it pays to be methodical.  If you’re going to nest clips or sequences while video editing, make it work for you!

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